The Program in Visual Arts presents a panel discussion on artist Mario Moore’s exhibition of large-scale paintings, etchings and drawings of Black men and women who work at or around the Princeton University campus in blue collar jobs. Panelists joining Moore include Lewis Center Chair, Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Creative Writing Tracy K. Smith; Princeton’s Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies Imani Perry; and Hank Towns, the University’s retired head equipment manager and one of Moore’s portrait subjects.




MARIO MOORE is a Detroit native, currently residing in New York City. Moore received a BFA in Illustration from the College for Creative Studies (2009) and an MFA in Painting from the Yale School of Art (2013). He has participated as an artist-in-residence at Knox College, Fountainhead, and the Albers Foundation. Moore’s work has afforded him many opportunities, including multiple exhibitions and featured articles including the New York Times. His work has been exhibited at the Charles H. Wright Museum, George N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Moore’s solo exhibitions include Winston-Salem State University’s Diggs Gallery and The Urban Institute for Contemporary Art. His work is included in the Studio Visit Volume 31 (2015) and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s catalog, Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art (2014).


TRACY K. SMITH is the Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Creative Writing, and Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton. She is the author of the memoir Ordinary Light and four books of poetry: Wade in the Water (April 2018); Life on Mars, which received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize; Duende, recipient of the 2006 James Laughlin Award; and The Body’s Question, which won the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith is also the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award and a Whiting Award. She was the Literature protégé in the 2009-2011 cycle of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. In June 2017 she was named the 22nd U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry by the Library of Congress, and in March 2018 she was re-appointed to a second term for 2018-19.


IMANI PERRY is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American Studies and faculty associate in the Program in Law and Public Affairs and Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton. Perry has written and taught on a number of topics regarding race and African American culture. Using methods of discussion and analysis from various fields of study—including law, literary and cultural studies, music, and the social sciences—Perry’s work often focuses on multifaceted issues such as the influence of race on law, literature and music. She is the author of Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant Life of Lorraine Hansberry, Vexy Thing: On Gender and Liberation, More Beautiful and More Terrible: The Embrace and Transcendence of Racial Inequality in the United States, Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop, and May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem. Perry has published numerous articles in the areas of law, cultural studies and African American Studies. She also wrote the notes and introduction to the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Narrative of Sojourner Truth. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, her J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D in the history of American civilization from Harvard University.


HANK TOWNS is the retired Head Equipment Manager for Princeton University’s Department of Athletics. He is a legendary figure in Princeton athletic history, working from 1970 through 2003 with thousands of Tiger athletes across 38 varsity teams. Towns arrived at Princeton at the same time as the first class for women, and he worked to promote growth in the women’s athletic programs at Princeton. He worked most closely with the varsity football team over the course of 34 seasons. A native of Trenton, New Jersey, he is an honorary member of the Class of 1982.

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  • Program in Visual Arts